Initial test of Tacoma well showed high level of contamination, limited number of people exposed

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Tacoma Water, in response to national and regional concerns, recently conducted voluntary testing for man-made chemicals, known as PFAS, at individual wells in its water system. A first test at Well 10C showed PFAS levels that exceeded the EPA Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion; a second test at that well showed levels that were below the EPA Health Advisory Level.

The only people who may have received water with potentially elevated PFAS levels were those who went to the well at 7440 S. Cedar St. in Tacoma and filled their own containers. The closed well served as a source of unfluoridated water. Prior to the well’s closure, water from that well had been available to anyone at no cost via a spigot on the well building. Meter history indicates about 100 gallons of water per day were collected from that well. While there is no legal requirement to provide unfluoridated water, Tacoma Water provides an alternative location for unfluoridated water at 1614 99th St. E in the Midland area. Testing on that well showed PFAS levels far below the EPA Health Advisory Level.

Based on the results of the first test, Tacoma Water is notifying customers and have closed the well for additional testing and maintenance.

No PFAS were detected in water from the Green River, which serves all Tacoma Water customers with the vast majority of their drinking water. Test results since 2015, when PFAS testing began, indicate that Tacoma Water customers have only received water with PFAS levels significantly below the federal standard of 70 parts per trillion at their homes and businesses.

Tacoma Water notified and is working with the Washington State Department of Health and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to share information with the public about the higher PFAS level at Well 10C.

The utility will continue sampling and testing its water supply and well sites for PFAS to ensure clean, reliable water. More information is available at MyTPU.org/pfas and tpchd.org/pfas.

People with questions about water quality can email WaterQuality@cityoftacoma.org or call our Water Quality team at 253-502-8207.

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